A ” framework ” is a collection of code files (in most cases grouped into classes) that, based on a particular programming language, allows to extend its functionalities and provide the developer with a coherent, enhanced and effective structure with which to draw applications.
Within the PHP server-side programming language , we have an infinite number of excellent frameworks to choose from. We see four excellent products available in 2018 with which we can build solid Web applications based on this language.
Laravel is most likely the currently most popular PHP framework. Known for its elegant syntax and its low learning curve with which it is generally a pleasure to work. With Laravel producing the usual server-side tasks such as user authentication, session management, caching and many others, it becomes drastically simpler. We can safely state that Laravel includes every feature required by a modern Web application written in PHP. In addition to its Core structure, Laravel can absolutely be extended by the developer, a feature that allowed the creation of excellent platforms, extensions and libraries by third-party development companies, such as the Amazon Web Services (AWS) that allows to produce super-scalable applications. Laravel has a huge and active commnunity: finding documentation, tutorials, snippets, tickets is a simple matter, as well as relying on the constant resolution of any errors and bugs.
2) Code Igniter
CodeIgniter is a legendary PHP framework, which uses the Model-View-Controller design pattern in a very simplified version, where the Model component is in fact optional. Code Igniter is a good choice for developers who have recently started writing PHP applications with moderate and advanced complexity. The learning curve of Code Igniter is probably the lowest of all PHP frameworks available on the square, just as the execution speed is distinguishable thanks to its very light footprint. Installing Code Igniter and producing a simple application set-up is a procedure that can take less than five minutes. Less modern than products like Laravel, but present in the heart of PHP developers for a long time.
In terms of popularity, the battle between Laravel and Code Igniter is enhanced by a worthy challenger, Symfony . Highly flexible PHP framework, which allows both to use all the components of the entire framework and to build a bundle with the desired features (and their dependencies). Also in the case of Symfony we have a learning curve that is very low compared to products such as Zend Framework. Symfony includes a built-in testing unit that allows you to monitor your written applications by getting rid of the product in question. Simple, powerful, modular. Some of the super-products made thanks to the Symfony framwork are Drupal, phpBB and Joomla!, All undoubtedly high quality indicators.
4) Zend Framework
Zend is the development house of PHP, whose name derives from the merger of its two co-founders: Zeev and Andy. Zend Framework is therefore an “official” product produced by the same house as the PHP programming language. Entirely object-oriented, with a complete Model-View-Controller structure, Zend Framework is highly modular: its component-based nature makes it possible to produce packages that include only the features desired by the developer (among the many available).
Its learning curve is higher than that of previous products, but Zend Framework is a product of the highest quality, complete with every possible feauture, always based on the most recent versions of PHP and suitable especially for the most experienced and advanced developer. Creating an application with ZF requires a longer and more complicated set-up procedure than, for example, that of Code Igniter, and switching from one of the three frameworks mentioned above to ZF could intimidate many developers.